So back in, oh maybe ’99 or ’00, I got this Les Paul Smartwood. I guess it’s technically a “Smartwood Studio”. I believe the wood on this one is Peroba, but I really don’t know anymore. I do know that it was ugly out of the box. I got it for a very low price because nobody wanted it and it was seemingly built on a Friday afternoon. Frets were all overhanging, setup was horrid, and again, it was ugly.
Here’s the only shot I have of the guitar kind of in its original state.
Until about two weeks ago. July 2013, probably 13-14 years later.
The only real inspiration for finishing was a pretty logical one, actually playing guitar. Been getting together with a few buddies regularly to play; myself and the other guitar player both had fender-ish single coil guitars into fender-ish amps. I showed up with my Gretsch from time to time and it was a little magical with some contrast in sound. Got me thinking of how much better it’d be with a solid body humbucker guitar.
Oh, I have one!
Shit! It’s in 50 pieces.
So I got to work. Put in new frets, 6105 wire that is actually round and not sanded down to a pancake like Gibson does. Painted, pumpkin orange on top, black on the sides/back. Threw on hardware, all chrome. Pickups – Duncan JB/Jazz (which was a cool combo when I bought them, back in ’01), which I don’t love but they sound good enough through my setup. Amazingly, it all works and looks pretty okay.